I finally found a “before” picture of my glutes!
It took a bit of digging, but I finally found one. (I realize the suits are different, but you can still see a huge difference) 😉 The picture on the left was during one of my “lose-weight” kicks in college which consisted of a calorie restricted diet with very little protein and almost entirely cardio based exercise (which as you can see, did not do much for my rear end). While I lost weight, my trouble spots stayed. The picture on the right was from last summer. At that point I had been eating a diet high in protein, doing minimal cardio and lifting challenging weights for close to 2 years. It has taken me a long time to build a booty and I’m by no means finished sculpting it… But I’m proud of the gains I’ve made so far!
It’s important to remember that lifting heavy weights doesn’t make women “manly” or “bulky” like many females believe (that’s a myth! )… They give you CURVES in all the right places! Don’t be afraid of those heavy dumbbells and barbells ladies! Women do not have the levels of testosterone necessary to build muscle like men without the use of steroids and a SERIOUS lifestyle commitment. I did NOT build this booty with millions of bodyweight squats or 3 lb dumbbells!! While we all have to start somewhere, it’s important to graduate to higher weights as your strength increases. If you’d like to read more on this subject, check out my article: My Beef With the Word “Toned”
My booty-results came from dedicating 1-2 workouts per week to my legs & glutes. Those workouts usually took about 45 minutes to an hour and a half depending on what I was doing and my time constraints. I have followed a body part split since I first started training (even as a beginner!). If you’ve never heard of a body part split, I can summarize it quite simply. About 4-6 days a week, you train 1-2 body parts per day (as opposed to full-body workouts).
Sample Body Part Split:
- Monday – Chest
- Tuesday – Back
- Wednesday – Off
- Thursday – Shoulders
- Friday – Rest Day
- Saturday – Legs
- Sunday – Arms
By training one to two body parts per day as opposed to full-body workouts, you have more energy to dedicate to each region. In addition, splits like the one above allow for adequate recovery time between workouts. The gym is where you break down muscle tissue… it is during the rest, sleep and proper nutrition afterward that your body rebuilds itself! That is why I am not a big proponent of back-to-back full body workouts. As I just mentioned, rest and nutrition is CRUCIAL. Check out the links at the bottom of this page to read more! =)
Ham & Glute-Tastic Workout
- 15 minute warm-up on cardio machine of choice. I usually start with something like the stair master, but just about anything will do.
- 2 Warm-up sets of squats – light weight, high reps (The goal here is simply to get the blood flowing to your legs, and your body nice and warmed up for your working sets).
- Wide Stance Barbell Squats – 4×10
- Smith Machine Lunges 4×12 (each leg, take a wider step to really target the glutes and hamstrings)
- Leg Press – 3×12 (wide stances, toes angled slightly out, make sure knees stay tracking with your toes)
- Plie Squats 3×10
- Stiff Leg Deadlifts 4×15
- Cable Kickbacks 3×15 (make sure to squeeze those glutes hard at the top)
- Hamstring Curls 3×12 with 1 drop set at the end (lessen the weight and rep until you burn out, then drop the weight down again and repeat until you’ve run the rack).
Choose a weight for your working sets that is challenging! If it calls for 10 reps and you can easily do that and more, the weight is too light. You should feel a burn in your muscle on those last few reps (never a pain in your joints!). Don’t quit when you feel that burn, those are the reps that count! The reps leading up to that were just to fatigue the muscle! For the follow sets, rest 1-2 minutes between each set. I personally use a timer, as it’s easy to overestimate the length of time between sets! *Always remember to use proper form….train smart and train safe. Have fun with it! =)
This workout burns a lot of calories if you push yourself. So it’s important to refuel afterward to feed those muscles! Remember, as I mentioned before… the gym is where you break down muscle tissue, it is in the proper nutrition & sleep afterward that your body rebuilds itself stronger! That’s why it’s crucial to get enough protein, carbohydrates and other nutrients to help replenish your muscles and lost glycogen. After this particular glute & hamstring day, I had a shake with Whey & Casein (half a scoop of each, although it’s fine to just have whey if that’s all you have!) and a couple of rice cakes in my car before I even left the gym. (I ALWAYS bring my shake and rice cakes to the gym with me). When I got home, I fixed myself some skinless chicken breast, yams & broccoli. A lot of girls choose to not eat after workouts, thinking they will burn more body fat that way. Unfortunately, after a workout like this, not eating simply burns off that hard-earned muscle! Feed your body RIGHT to get it TIGHT! (Follow the links below to learn more).
SAFETY TIPS/OTHER INFO:
Always warm up properly before each workout. Always use proper form to avoid injury. You should feel a burn in your muscle, but never a pain in your joints. Breathe properly and keep your core tight during all movements. When the muscle begins to burn, do an additional 2-3 reps. (if I say 15 reps, it should be burning by about rep 12). Go as heavy as you can while maintaining proper form (remember, you don’t want an injury).
If you do not know how to do a particular exercise, you can refer to this website for explanations and examples.
Move quickly from one exercise to the next:
- “Superset” – two exercises performed back to back with no rest in between
- “Dropset” – after the set, immediately drop the weight and perform another set with the same amount of reps (or more if you can.. the point is to burn-out the muscle)
- “Burn Out” – lifting the weight until the muscle is completely fatigued
- “Run the Rack” – a term referring to a dropset, where you do reps to failure of each weight along the length of the weight rack.
Read more about the importance of nutrition!
Here are a few articles on my website you might find interesting: